FTSE lifted by strong US close

London takes a positive lead from a strong US close and overnight gains in Asia following a strong Chinese manufacturing print. The FTSE 100 sits around a key technical area, currently up 20 points at 6840.

Europe goes to the polls today, and whilst the electoral focus has come down to deciding how European we want to be, the market focus remains how policy makers can bring the member states towards each other rather than seeing Germany stay streets ahead.

Market PMI data for May, whilst slightly behind April, has been ticked off as a positive story by traders, as we see the euro catching a bid over sterling, climbing back above the 81 cents level. It will be interesting to see how, if at all, any anti-EU traction in European elections manifests itself in the cross, with sterling enjoying a slow but steady grind over the euro in recent weeks.

Back to a matter close to the British electorate; Royal Mail released its first set of full-year numbers as a publicly traded company this morning. One of the unfortunate realities of existing as a private sector company, the threat of increased competition, is the dampener on its release. The usual assortment of spivs and speculators, as well as a few serious investors, haven’t reacted well to the news and have traded down 6.5%.

Newspaper, turned web behemoth, the Daily Mail (+7%) has enjoyed a much better morning, as plans to float property search engine Zoopla get the go ahead, whilst on the other side of the coin retailer Fat Face gets cold feet on its IPO and pulls the plug. You could say that houses are selling better than clothes at the moment. 

After the best day for the Dow Jones in five weeks yesterday, futures are treading water giving us an opening call at last night’s 16,533 closing level. The Fed-ometer was dovish yesterday, helping to add a few basis points back onto the 10-year yield and keeping the bull market dream intact a little longer, all be it with the backdrop of summer volumes already setting in. 

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